Cape Town residents cautioned as drownings surpass previous season
DURBAN - The City of Cape Town has called on bathers and beachgoers to exercise caution following the drowning of two teenagers on Saturday.
The adolescents went missing in the water at Wittewaters, Table View, and to date only one body has been recovered.
"This pushes the number of fatal drownings to 12, already surpassing the total for the previous season," said mayoral committee member for community services and health, councillor Zahid Badroodien, on Wednesday.
Lifeguards and other rescue agencies were called into action on numerous occasions in the last week, said Badroodien. The lifeguards assisted in 11 non-fatal drowning incidents which included a family of six who had been caught in a rip current at Clovelly.
Two more non-fatal drownings were due to bathers caught in rip currents, while in another incident, a man who dove off a jetty into the shallow end of a tidal pool was found unconscious by lifeguards.
"It is absolutely heartbreaking to lose a loved one, particularly at this time of year. The city campaigns to keep beachgoers safe as far as possible with the provision of lifeguards, resources and a deluge of information.
"We urgently need our bathers to exercise caution in and around the ocean. We want all beachgoers to enjoy their holiday, but to do so without endangering themselves or anyone else," said Badroodien.
He said the city's Identikidz project, facilitated by the social development and early childhood development department, had a strong start over the long weekend, with 21 510 children tagged at 16 beaches across the metropole.
Children arriving at the beaches are issued with an identification armband and should the child be separated from their caregiver or parent, staff will work with other role-players to ensure reunification.
Badroodien urged beachgoers to swim between the red and yellow flags only where lifeguards were present and to be aware of rip currents. Children should be supervised at all times, he said, adding that bathers should not drink and swim.
African News Agency (ANA)